Back in the Comic Movie Dark Ages – the 1990s – when you thought about the best Batman movie of the decade, you thought of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. An original story based on the popular animated series on Fox, Warner Bros. commissioned a direct-to-video, feature-length film based on the animated Dark Knight, whose popularity and critical acclaim made Warners get ambitious and promote Phantasm to a big screen release. Coming out on Christmas Day 1993, the movie made just $5.6 million at the box office, but what it had in street cred was priceless. So now, for the real fans, Warner Bros is finally freeing the Bat for all its high-def glory!
Courtesy of the Warner Archive Facebook page, the studio has announced that later this summer they’ll be releasing Mask of the Phantasm on Blu-ray to help mark the 25th anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, which debuted in September 1992. The film will be a 1080p HD remaster and come in the original 16:9 aspect ratio (1.78:1) and the chopped down 4:3 (1.37:1). The only special feature on the disc will be a theatrical trailer, so Warner Bros. kind of cheaped out on the extras, but isn’t having Mask of the Phantasm on Blu its own reward?
If you’re unfamiliar, Mask of the Phantasm tells the story of a cloaked villain named the Phantasm who’s systematically killing many of Gotham’s most powerful crime bosses and inadvertently framing Batman for the job. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne flashes back to days of doubt in his youth when he might have chosen love over becoming the Batman, a thought that’s tested when that ex-girlfriend comes back to Gotham. The film features the voice talents of Kevin Conroy as Batman, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred, Robert Hastings as Commissioner Gordon, Dana Delany as Andrea Beaumont, and Mark Hamill as the Joker.
No exact release date has been announced, but Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is expected to be on store shelves sometime next month.